36 mm

“Giant Stag Beetle” (Dorcus titanus)

…a large species of stag beetle (Lucanidae) which inhabits tropical rainforests throughout Indonesia other areas in Southeast Asia. Dorcus titanus individuals can grow quite large with males averaging from 32-111 mm and females averaging 36-54 mm.


Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Lucanidae-Dorcus-D. titanus

Image: Shawn Hanrahan 

Forensic Anatomy

The normal ratio of an human hand to the forearm is 1 to 1.618

The forearms are being measured from the Olecranon process to the Styloid process, or from the end of one bone (elbow) to the other (bony protuberance at wrist). Hands are being measured along the middle Metacarpal, from the end of the forearm to the knuckle, and along the Phalanges.

Left arm 98 mm Metacarpals 33mm Phalanges 27mm

Arm length  98 mm

Hand length 60 mm

Total length     158 mm

Ratio   1 to 1.63

This is pretty close to our expected ratio. This arm has not been stretched out of it’s natural anatomy. There are some signs the hand was manipulated at the wrist, but the essential length is correct.

Right arm  102 mm   Metacarpals 40 mm   Phalanges 36 mm

Arm length    102 mm

Hand length    76 mm

Total length  178 mm

Ratio    1 to 1.34

This ratio is very far off of what we would expect. Since Benedict doesn’t normally experience extreme asymmetry, this mutated arm has been photoshopped.

There is a difference in the length of the arms as measured in the picture of at least 20 mm (out of 158mm or 178mm) between the two arms from elbow to fingertip. In an arm 42 cm elbow down (and Benedict’s would be longer) this amounts to 5.31 cm or more than two inches difference in length.

I took the 20 mm and compared it in relationship to the ‘healthy’ arm, giving a percentage of 12%. Using the longer arm resulted in 11%.

In our example of a 42 cm arm from the elbow down the second arm would be 47.31 cm long.

If you look at the right wrist, I’ve drawn a line through the wrist where the radius and ulna end. That is the end of the forearm. In a human hand, the base of the thumb is right up against the end of the forearm with no space. In this hand there is at least an inch of space between the base of the thumb and the end of the radius, which is the bone on the thumb side of the arm. This is not medically possible.

On a previous occasion someone put a transparency of the left forearm over the right forearm to 'prove’ the arms were close to the same length. This showed an absolute awareness that the stretched parts of the arm were primarily the wrist and fingers.

Regarding any argument over perspective: the 'normal’ left arm is parallel to the viewer. There is no foreshortening of that arm. The stretched out right arm that the baby is sitting on should be foreshortened, at least a little, but it is the longer arm.

Many people commented upon the elbow of the right arm looking wrong. The bony part of the elbow is pointed toward the viewer rather than away, as it should be at this angle.

A close-up of the right hand shows the ring finger has no knuckle and is not even attached to the hand.

This is a massive photoshop fail on all points.

Here you can watch the arm ‘grow’ through the progression of the pictures.


8/4/16                         Glenurus gratus

A first for me!

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Owlflies, Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies)
Suborder Myrmeleontiformia (Antlions and Owlflies)
Family Myrmeleontidae (Antlions)
Tribe Nemoleontini
Genus Glenurus
Species gratus (Glenurus gratus)

Synonyms and other taxonomic changes

Glenurus gratus (Say 1839)

Explanation of Names

Latin gratus ‘pleasing, agreeable/grateful’(1)


body ca. 36 mm; length to wingtips 52 mm, wingspan 94 mm (Hagen 1861)


Very large, wings mottled in brown-and-pink towards the distal ends (pattern distinctive)



se. US (NJ-IN to MO-FL)(2)


Larvae found in tree holes among sawdust and in burrows of Gopher Tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus(3)(4)(5) (a threatened species)



A telescope is a popular gift, especially so every December. It can be a portal to the universe and provide a lifetime of enjoyment. But there’s no one “perfect” telescope – just as there’s no such thing as a perfect car. Instead, choose a telescope based on your observing interests, lifestyle, and budget. And “buyer beware”: a telescope should not be bought on impulse.

“Don’t expect a lot from the majority of telescopes costing less than $200, and certainly be wary of anything sold in a toy shop or department store,” says Sean Walker, Equipment Editor of Sky & Telescope magazine. “Do some research before buying, and then go to a reputable store or online dealer that specializes in telescopes or related products, such as cameras or consumer electronics.”

Here’s expert advice from the editors of Sky & Telescope to help anyone searching for a first-ever telescope.

Telescope Types

Telescopes come in many shapes, sizes, and prices. Yet all of them fall into one of three general classes: refractors (those that collect light using lenses), reflectors (those with mirrors), and compound telescopes (hybrids of the two). Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but all share the same function: to gather light from a distant object and to form a sharp image that can be scrutinized by eye or camera.

* Refractors have a lens at the front of the tube – it’s the type most people are familiar with. While generally low maintenance, refractors quickly become expensive as the diameter of the main lens increases. In refractor lingo, an apochromat offers better optical quality (and is more expensive) than an achromat of the same size.

* Reflectors gather light using a precisely-shaped curved mirror at the rear of the main tube. For a given diameter, these are generally the least expensive type, but you’ll need to adjust the optical alignment periodically – especially if you bump it around a lot.

* Compound (or catadioptric) telescopes, which use a combination of lenses and mirrors, offer compact tubes and relatively light weight. Two popular designs are called Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutov-Cassegrains – look for these phrases in ads or on the telescope itself.

“Whatever design you choose, optical quality should be your top priority,” notes S&T Senior Editor Kelly Beatty. “It’s the key to seeing the night sky at its best.” Running a close second is a solid, steady mount with smooth, dependable motions.

If at all possible, try before you buy – visit a local astronomy club and look through members’ scopes to see which ones you like. If you purchase a unit online, make sure there is a good return policy. Avoid used-equipment offers unless you’re certain about what you’re buying.

What to Look For

Here are important characteristics to look for in any telescope, regardless of type:

The aperture (diameter) of the primary lens or mirror in your telescope determines two things: light-gathering power and resolving power (the ability to see fine detail). The larger the aperture, the more light your scope collects and the fainter the objects you can see. With increased aperture also comes increased resolution – a larger-aperture telescope will reveal smaller features on the Moon and in distant nebulae and galaxies.

Focal Length and Magnification
The distance from the primary lens or mirror to the point where the image of a distant object comes into focus is called the focal length. The magnification, or power, of any telescope-eyepiece combination is easy to calculate: divide the focal length of the scope by that of the eyepiece. So a 25-mm eyepiece used with a refractor having a focal length of 900 mm gives 36 power (900 / 25 = 36), usually written as 36x. As a general rule, twice the aperture in millimeters (or 50 times the aperture in inches) is the maximum usable magnification. Beyond that, the image gets so faint and fuzzy that it seems forever out of focus.

Beginners are frequently surprised at how small a window on the sky their scope presents when used at medium to high power. So all telescopes – regardless of type or design – should be equipped with a high-quality finder, an observing aid that assists in locating celestial objects. Very common these days are “red-dot” finders, which use an LED to project a red dot or centering pattern on the search area but don’t magnify the view.

Mount Type
A telescope with the finest optics will be rendered useless without a suitable mount. A good mount (1) holds the instrument firmly with little vibration, (2) allows the tube to be pointed to any part of the heavens quickly and accurately, and (3) permits smooth and precise tracking of a celestial object as Earth’s rotation carries it from east to west across the sky. Two basic types of mounts accomplish these tasks: altazimuth and equatorial.

Alt-azimuth (“alt-az”) mounts, which move up-and-down and side-to-side, require simultaneous manual corrections for two axes to keep celestial objects in view. Unless you have a motor-driven altazimuth mount, for high-magnification visual observations – and especially for faint-object astrophotography – you’ll probably want an equatorial mount.

An equatorial mount also uses two axes, but one of them is aligned parallel to Earth’s axis of rotation by being pointed at the north celestial pole, near Polaris, when viewing from the Northern Hemisphere. Then, once a celestial object has been found, you only have to pivot the scope around its “polar” axis to keep the object in view.

Computerized Scopes
Many telescopes use a built-in computer to drive the mount’s motors. Once properly initialized, the computer takes over and can automatically aim the telescope at any desired object and track it as it moves across the sky. This is the essence of a “Go To” telescope. Depending on the sophistication of the system, you might need to enter your viewing location, date, and time at the beginning of an observing session. You might also need to point the scope at two or three bright stars or planets in order to synchronize the instrument’s coordinate system with that of the sky.

Go To scopes aren’t for everyone – the setup process might be confusing if you don’t know how to identify bright alignment stars in the sky. And lower-priced Go To models come with smaller-aperture telescopes than similarly priced, entry-level scopes that have no electronics.

TOP IMAGE….All telescopes gather and concentrate light, but the three basic optical designs — refractors, reflectors, and compound — do so in different ways, as revealed by these cutaway drawings.
Sky & Telescope / Gregg Dinderman & Brett Pawson

CENTRE IMAGE….Here are seven important qualities of a good-quality telescope: (1) eyepiece shows a sharp image from edge to edge; (2) smooth focuser with “precise” feel; (3) mount moves smoothly on both axes; (4) mount is sturdy and sta-ble; (5) tube stops shaking quickly after being touched; (6) eyepiece is at a comfortable height for viewing while you are seated; and (7) the finderscope is easy to adjust and look through. Sky & Telescope

LOWER IMAGE….Telescope mounts come in two basic types. An altazimuth mount (left) permits the scope to move up-down and left-right. It’s quick to set up and intuitive to use. An equatorial mount (right) tracks celestial objects by turning just one axis and can be more easily motorized — but to work properly it must be aligned with the North Star (Polaris). Sky & Telescope

BOTTOM IMAGE….When using a traditional finderscope (left), your eye must be very close to its back end, and seeing the crosshairs can be difficult in the dark. A “1-power” finder (right) use a red LED to create the illusion of a reference dot or pattern on the sky. It lets you view your target and the superimposed red dot or circle more comfortably. Sky & Telescope